IP News February 2015

Top 3 Stories

Friend or FRAND? A landmark vote by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers promises to clear up the messy world of standard essential patents, by eliminating the threat of injunctions, and reducing royalty stacking More »

Canada struck back at Eli Lilly and the US government in a $500 million NAFTA dispute over its patent policies. In a filing, Canada defended its long-standing utility criteria as a ground to invalidate patents, and accused the drug maker of claiming IP rights based on mere guesses More »

Left Shark is in the running to be this year’s IP internet meme. Since soaring to Superbowl fame, the go-your-own-way shark tangled with Katy Perry’s lawyers over first copyright, then trademark claims More »


BlackBerry is suing Ryan Seacrest’s Typo all over again, saying the latest version of his keyboard-for-an-iPhone still violates patents and trade dress More »

A think-tank member berates Canadians in the Globe for having a lousy IP-regime, and claims more IP is the way to wealth and success More »

United States

In the wake of the 50 Shades movie success, fan fiction types fear that publishing houses will put copyright clamps on their communities More »

Princeton University claims that patent royalties and payments to professors shouldn’t change its tax-exempt status; local officials are suing to claim the school is shirking on property tax More »

A patent troll suing the New York Times and JC Penney will get a second kick at the can as the Federal Circuit overturned an earlier exhaustion ruling More »

Music royalty rights problems are coming to a head, as Congress and courts wrestle with what to do about copyright rules that pay songwriters and recording artists very differently More »

There is a snowboard garment called Ass Armour and, yes, Under Armour is suing it for trademark infringement More »

A metal musician protested Taylor Swift’s trademark claim for “this sick beat” by issuing a song that contains only those three words More »

The founder of Polaroid held camera giant Kodak Eastman at bay and build an empire of his own thanks to the patent system, claims a profile in the Atlantic More »

Appropriation artist Richard Prince is in yet another copyright controversy, this time over his decision to display a marked-up photo he took from an Instagram feed More »

A studio demanded YouTube take down a video of a cat purring, claiming it had a copyright in the sound of the purr More »

A survey of in-house counsel found that patent trolls, along with data breaches and compliance, were top of a list of things that kept them up at night More »

Robin Thicke sang and played the piano from the witness stand in a bid to show a jury his hit “Blurred Lines” doesn’t infringe the copyright of the late Marvin Gaye More »

Aereo, the streaming TV firm at the center of a recent landmark SCOTUS copyright decision, has been sold for scraps, fetching $2 million for its trademark and patents More »

A Texas jury told Samsung to pay $16 million in patent damages over Bluetooth to a man who admitted he didn’t invent Bluetooth More »

Profs Lemley and Feldman published a new empirical study that suggests patent licensing by trolls and universities are not doing much for tech transfer More »

Apple is spitting mad after a Texas jury issued a $533 million patent verdict in favor of a company that doesn’t have any products More »


Health charity Medecins du Monde is challenging a European patent for hepatitis C medication, claiming the drug maker is “abusing” its monopoly More »

An Estonian man was sentenced to one year in U.S. prison on copyright-related charges after he pleading guilty to involvement in Megaupload, a global piracy operation More »


John Oliver published a scathing comedy video that skewers the tobacco industry’s use of trademark law to stifle anti-smoking measures in Australia and Uruguay More »

The Australian high court will hear a long-running challenge to whether Myriad can own patents on a test for a breast cancer More »

A copyright lobby group posted an open “love letter” on Valentines Day (no really!) to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial trade agreement More »

This month’s Twitter star is Barry Sookman, a Toronto lawyer who tweets a helpful stream of IP news from all over. Follow him @bsookman More »


Tips or comments? Send them to jeffrobertslegal at gmail.com

This content has been updated on March 26, 2016 at 17:20.